WR students building computers

From left, Warrior Run Middle School students Aiden Hoffman, Ryder Chapin and Mason Bryson worked to assemble a Piper Computer Kit during Academic Excellence class.

TURBOTVILLE — With blueprints spread out across the floor of a classroom, Warrior Run Middle School students worked in groups to follow the blueprints while piecing together their own computers.

Theresa Bartholomew, the district’s director of Educational Programs said 23 Piper Computer Kits were purchased using Title IV funds.

Brett Stamm, a seventh-grade math teacher, turned to students in his Academic Excellence class.

Bartholomew said Academic Excellence is part of a club period, with students in grades five through eight opting to take the class.

“They have to use a blueprint to build the computer first,” Bartholomew noted.

“Everything on the blueprint is numbered,” Stamm said. “It’s straightforward.”

As part of the kit, he said students first assemble a case for the computer.

“It includes hinges, nuts and bolts,” Stamm said, of the kit. “Then the electronics go in it.”

He said the manufacturer recommends the computers only be assembled and disassembled four times.

“Once we assemble it, we will keep it assembled for the school year,” Stamm said. “Once they assemble it, the device has pre-loaded programs on it.”

He said programs initially focus on basic coding, and one program must be successfully completed before moving on to another.

“One of my objectives is that they become very proficient in following extensive diagrams... working together as a team,” Stamm said. “Doing this prepares them to work independently.”

The students are enjoying working with the devices.

“Building has always been a favorite, personally, for me,” Shea McNett said. “I feel proud of myself, I can build something like this.”

Jacob Peters, another student, was enjoying building the computer and looking forward to learning to code.

“I’ve never done anything like (coding) before,” he said. “I like putting stuff together.”

Stamm will be taking a professional development class through the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU) to learn further uses of the kits in the classroom.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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